Michelle E. Shaw, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, April 18, 2011
DeKalb County has agreed to a $1.3 million settlement with two former parks employees in a 6-year-old racial discrimination case.
According to a filing dated April 14, the previously awarded $1.9 million in legal fees and $185,000 in damages will be replaced by the settlement amount.
The settlement amount brings the county’s tab to well over $4 million since the case was filed in August 2004. By early 2010 the county had already spent more than $2.5 million in legal fees.
The suit alleged that Vernon Jones, when he was DeKalb’s CEO, wanted to get rid of white managers so he could create a “darker administration” that would reflect the county’s racial makeup.
The federal case originally involved four former parks employees who all alleged that Jones discriminated against some white managers.
In April 2010, a jury decided that Jones, his executive assistant, Richard Stogner, and parks director Marilyn Boyd Drew “created and maintained a hostile work environment.” It also found DeKalb to be responsible for racial discrimination. The jury also said Jones, Stogner, Drew and the county were liable for damages.